Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Post from Savannah Scorpion: Unpopular Opinions about Animal Testing

Hello!
 
It's time for anther guest post from yours truly Savannah Scorpion, America's Favorite Retail Drone (TM). This time, I'm writing about animal testing, and why I'm somewhat critical of brands that brag about being "cruelty free". This is a very sensitive issue, I will be discussing animal cruelty, which can be triggering for readers. If you get upset or overwhelmed by this post, please stop reading and take care of yourself, and look at cute pictures of animals, such as my cat.
 
[Ed. Note: Oh my god, so fucking cute.]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

e.l.f. dupes/alternatives for Chanel, MUFE, etc. (from Wayne Goss)

In this short video, Wayne Goss favorably compares the e.l.f. Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow (which I posted about here - I also have the bronze one) with Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow. He also recommends the e.l.f. Lock and Seal (which I used here), pointing out that it's exactly the same as versions from Make Up Forever and other brands that cost 5-6 times as much.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Have you ever had a nail polish totally change color in the bottle?

Okay, this is fucking weird. I just pulled out this bottle of Studio M nail polish in Vintage Vamp that I've had for about a year and a half, and it's now a completely different color than when I bought it. It used to be a sort of magenta-purple, very bright, and full of blue shimmer. Look at the swatches here (scroll down).

Now it's a weird almost-salmony pink and the shimmer isn't as noticeable. The shimmer seems to have changed to a sort of neutral pearly color instead of blue.

How it looks now.
What the hell? It's still kind of a cool polish, I guess, but it's not what it was. It's been stored at room temperature in a dark drawer this whole time. I've heard of polishes changing color after many, many years, but it's never happened to me. And I haven't had it that long. Huh.

Here's a comparison with another polish - these two used to be almost exactly the same color:

Studio M Vintage Vamp on the left.

40% off Maybelline, Revlon, Almay, Physician's Formula, and Jane from ULTA

Disclosure: This post contains no affiliate links.
The title pretty much says it all. Available online or in store, no code necessary. You can also use the $3.50 off $10 code on the main page to cut down on the shipping cost if you order online. You'll an extra get 8% back if you use Ebates (invite link). There's also a big beauty sample bag that you get free with a $60 purchase. Looks decent.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quick and cheap: O'Keeffe's Foot Cream

Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.
My dad gave me a tub of this foot cream for Christmas and raved about it. He wanted me to try it right away. Being the stubborn bad daughter that I am, I insisted that I needed to finish up the tube of foot lotion I had at home before I opened up something new. So I spent all of January with hard, rough, dry feet.

It's hard not to make some stupid "father knows best" joke right now.

Anyway, he was right, this stuff is the shit, and my feet would have been much happier if I had been using it all along. I don't have any before and after photos, because you probably didn't want to see the crusty bottoms of my feet, and I honestly didn't expect to post about some foot cream that my dad bought at Canadian Tire. Yeah, this stuff sold at hardware stores in addition to drugstores, but you can get it from Amazon, too for about $6.

It's has a weird texture. It feels kind of hard and dry initially, but when you scoop some out it's soft and buttery. It's unscented and not overly greasy. If you use it during the day, you can walk on a hard floor after a few minutes without slipping and falling. I put it on my feet before bed a few times a week, and it definitely makes a difference. It doesn't peel off your skin and leave you with new feet (like this freaky shit), but it will soften them. The main thing I noticed is that my feet got a lot smoother. You know how really dry feet are kind of scratchy and they catch on bed sheets or socks like velcro and it's really unpleasant and blehhhhh? This stuff cures Velcro Foot Syndrome. It works better than any other cream or lotion I've tried on my feet. And I don't hate the teal and orange packaging. Matches my blog.

I guess when your dad gives you skin care advice, you should listen. Unless he recommends Windex.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Yet Another Damned Dry Shampoo Review: Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Disclosure: This post contains no affiliate links.
Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo is an interesting one. It's not powdery. Like, at all. Hence the name, I guess. That quality has its pros and cons.

An obvious benefit is that you don't end up with grey powdery-looking roots, like this. That's going to be particularly good if you have dark hair.

The downside is that it doesn't seem to absorb oil as well as more powdery formulas. The weird thing is that after using this stuff, my hair looks cleaner and has more volume. But it still feels dirty. Some dry shampoos leave my roots feeling kind of stiff and rough, but that's not what I'm talking about. It feels pretty much exactly the same as before I added the shampoo, but with some more lift. Look:

Hair not washed for 24 hours.
Hair after using Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo
Hair after using Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo.
So it does make your hair look cleaner, which is the main goal, right? To not look like a mess? I also really like the scent. It has a subtle mint fragrance. FINALLY. I'm so sick of dry shampoos that make me sneeze with their over-perfumed granny smells.

Overall, I like it, but I have such an oily scalp that it bothers me a little that I don't really feel any cleaner after I've used it. It's not refreshing, you know? The trade off is a lack of white residue in your hair. I think that if you have dark hair, this is definitely worth trying. I wish I could find something affordable that combined the light fragrance of this stuff with the results of one of the good Suave dry shampoos. As I've said before, I'm a bit of a dry shampoo Goldilocks.

HauteLook Lip Beauty Bag $24: What do you think?

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.
For $24 (plus shipping) you get a makeup bag with 10 items in it. It includes a LORAC lip gloss, a Laura Geller lipstick, a NYX lip liner, and some tools, among other things. You can check it all out here. One of the items is a Mirenesse Lip Bomb, which I once got in a Birchbox, and honestly wasn't very impressed with. It's basically a liquid lipstick, like a very very pigmented lip gloss, that's kind of messy and wears off in an ugly way.

Do you think it's worth it? Does it look exciting to you? I'm really asking. I have a couple of credits (thanks to whomever used my link!), and I wonder if this is a good way to spend them or not.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Free shipping on everything from Paula's Choice

Judging from my blog stats, people seem to be into the Paula's Choice stuff around here lately - so I thought you might like to know that they have free shipping on all orders right now. I don't know how long it will last. It could just be today, or it could go on for a while. No code necessary.

If this is your first time buying from Paula's Choice, you can sign up using my referral link and get $10 off a $15+ order as well (I get $10 too).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quick review: e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Pen

Disclosure: This post contains no affiliate links.
So this is a review of a somewhat odd product that is actually quite useful if you are a clumsy person who is often in a hurry, like I am. If you have a bad habit of ending up with flecks of mascara on your face, because you stabbed yourself in the eye, because you were in a terrible rush to finish your makeup, because you were running late, because you're disorganized, because you are a human mess, this is a product you could consider.

It's a marker. It's shaped like a sharpie, with a firm, white, felt tip point (see it here). If you make a small mess, it's much more precise than a Q-tip, so you don't have to redo all of your under-eye concealer or your eyeshadow or whatever. Observe:

Before: Mascara mess.
After: Disaster averted.
I should have included a dime or something for scale, though maybe the tiny freckle above the swatch serves that purpose to some extent. The swatch was made with a typical eyeshadow brush (a little over a centimeter wide) and the black specks are from the bristles of a mascara brush. You can achieve precise removal using the e.l.f. pen, and then you only need to do a little bit of patching and blending to fix things up. I don't know of another method/tool that allows for as precise cleanup. (Suggestions?)

The pen is weird. I've had it for several months, and it's still working. But it feels light and empty. If you shake it, you don't hear any liquid inside. The tip feels quite dry to the touch. Mysterious, and yet totally functional.

After you use it to clean up a few specks of mascara or whatever, I recommend wiping off the tip on your hand or a kleenex, otherwise it will end up smearing the product around instead of removing it.

Watch for 50% off sales from e.l.f. and you can get this thing for $1.50. It has come to my rescue after many a morning's disaster during which, 5 minutes before I was about to head out the door, my house was filled with the sounds of MOTHERFUCKER FUCKING SHIT FUCK GODDAMN IT! You know what I'm talking about.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A couple of cheap dupes for D&G and Lipstick Queen

I've got two nice dupes for you today. A Different Face has compared CoverGirl Clump Crusher with Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eyes mascara and found them to be virtually indistinguishable Clump Crusher is definitely going to be my next mascara purchase. The Lash Blasts work so fucking perfectly for me that I need to try Clump Crusher. Everything I've been using lately has been flaking all over the place (I'm looking at you, L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly - if it wasn't for the flaking, I'd be a fan).

The second dupe comes from the always brilliant Savannah Scorpion:
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Enticing is a dupe for Lipstick Queen's Medieval, down to color, pigmentation, consistency, and texture. Plus, the Lacquer Balms are easier to apply, because they are a chubby pencil.
Excellent! Thanks!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

NYX is on HauteLook this weekend

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.
Basically how it works is that you buy a set of 3-4 things and get them cheaper that way. A few things are already sold out, but there's still a lot left. Anything look good?

Friday, March 28, 2014

If you got a POP Beauty lip gloss in a recent Ipsy bag, you should probably throw it away

There seems to have been some kind of problem with the ingredients used in manufacturing, and people have reported burning and redness after using their gloss. More info here, here, and here. I got one, and I didn't have a reaction to it. I threw it in a drawer somewhere, because I didn't like the color, but I'm going to dig it out and toss it. Not worth keeping around if the company doesn't even know what fucking ingredients were used to make it.

tarte is on HauteLook today

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.
That's pretty rare. There's a ton of different stuff (cheek stain and tint, blush, bronzer, lip pencils, eyeliners, mascara, etc.). Anything look good?

Note: I probably won't be posting much for the next week or so. I'm sure that won't impact your lives too much, but I thought I'd mention it. I have to finish up some (non-blog) projects. I'll post good sales if I come across them, but more substantial topics will have to wait.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Is the new OPI glitter base coat any better than plain old white glue? (from Gotham Polish)

Here's a very thorough and useful review of the new OPI base coat for glitter polishes, which seems to just be some white school glue in a nail polish bottle sold for $9. Quite the racket they have going there. Bravo.

Glitter nail polish is notoriously difficult to remove with regular nail polish remover. It makes sense, when you think about it. You have solid chunks covering your nail, which makes it hard for the remover to get underneath and dissolve the polish adhering them to your nails. Using this kind of glue base coat is supposed to allow you to just pop the polish off without using remover. It seems that it pops off very, very easily. Too easily. Like mysteriously disappearing from your fingers in a middle of a meal. Bleh.

Gotham Polish ultimately decides that she's going to keep using it, because it's easier to apply than regular glue. Personally, based on the reviews I've read, I'd be much more inclined to clean up an old nail polish brush or get a cheap art brush and use that to apply glue, since you can buy 10 times as much for an eighth the price. (I'm estimating. It might be even cheaper.) Since white craft glue is water soluble (I think? I remember washing it out my my clothing as a kid), you should be able to just wash the brush and reuse it next time.

Honestly, I tend to have no problem popping glitter polish off when I've used a regular base coat, so I doubt I would even go that far. Peeling off nail polish is one of my great compulsive delights. I'm not recommending you do that, though, since it can weaken your nails.

Butter London and Urban Decay are on HauteLook today, LORAC tomorrow

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.
You might want to order a few things to make the shipping stretch further, if that is the kind of financial logic that makes sense to you (no judgement here). So you could either do Butter London + Urban Decay today, or Butter London + LORAC tomorrow. Or some other combination - they sell a bunch of other shit, of course. The Butter London polishes are $7 each, or a bit more expensive in most of the sets (but you get a makeup bag, yay?). The price for individual bottles is less expensive than ULTA's sale last week, but there isn't as much selection.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

20% off everything in the beauty department at drugstore.com

Disclosure: This post contains no affiliate links.
20% isn't a huge deal, but if there's something you have a hard time finding on sale at your drugstore - or a hard time finding at all - this might be the time to get it. They don't usually have limited edition collections, but they often have interesting things that don't show up at all the drugstore chains. If you're on their mailing list, you'll get an email with the link, but I think if you click through here, add things to your cart, and then go to check out, the discount should be applied automatically. Let me know if that doesn't work. The sale lasts until March 29.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hate-reading skincare quackery

Anyone want to join me? I hate to drive traffic to this person's blog, but please, I need someone to hold my hand through this one. It's about how there's this one superhero renegade doctor who has discovered the truth (by citing studies from the 1950s) about how polyunsaturated fats are the "real" cause of aging. Rather than sun damage or, you know, age. So the list includes all vegetable oils, except coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, basically, as well as fish oil. If you want to avoid wrinkles, according to this theory, you have to stop eating fish, avocados, seeds and nuts, etc.

This information is not coming from some marginal "natural" website, but from an apparently well-established beauty blogger, who was a former beauty editor of Elle Canada.

One of my favorite parts is when someone asks in the comments about whether or not her guru has published any peer-reviewed studies. The author responds:
Haha no. Scientific journals are mainly funded by pharmaceutical companies and food industries. Their financial interests result in a lot of bias and fraud, and they exert heavy influence over what gets published.  [. . .]  [Y]our choices would either be to a) change your position i.e. “go along to get along”, and get the prestige/money/published papers/top positions or b) go out on your own, as he has done with his own books and newsletters. Most people in this world obviously choose a).

Fascinating. Any scientists out there who would like to share their experiences with choosing between lying about omega-3s or being kicked out of science? Sounds like an exciting story. I'd like to hear about the techniques that Big Fish Oil uses to pressure you to compromise your integrity.

Another quotation from the author's comments:
From Ray Peat’s [the guru in question] coconut oil article: Many people have asked me to write something on coconut oil. I thought I might write a small book on it, but I realize that there are no suitable channels for distributing such a book–if the seed-oil industry can eliminate major corporate food products that have used coconut oil for a hundred years, they certainly have the power to prevent dealers from selling a book that would affect their market more seriously.
Wow, Big Canola even controls the publishing industry! How deep does it go? Do you think the Illuminati are involved somehow? "I’m genuinely curious how you think I could harm myself from not eating PUFA oils? Because Canada’s Food Guide says saturated fats are bad for you? It must be true then! (haha)" OMG, they control the Canadian government too! (Also from the comments.)


If you really want your head to explode, look at this list of people whose research supposedly supports the theory of her guru, which includes such figures as Charles Darwin, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, William Blake, Ivan Pavlov, Peter Kropotkin, Baruch Spinoza, and Ivan Illich. I don't even . . . is it just a list of names that she thinks sounds impressive?

Okay, I'll stop now before I have a stroke. But it bothers me because there are so many people in the comments convinced now that they've been damaging their faces by eating salad.

Skincare dupes site

Hey, remember when I was wishing there was a skincare dupes site? Someone made one! Who are you, mysterious webmaster? Are you one of the original commenters on that post? I'm curious.

Anyway, it looks pretty cool. Worth checking out, at least, and it's the kind of thing that will get better as more people contribute to it. The main problem that I can see right now is that the search function doesn't seem to work very well. I would definitely want to be able to search by ingredient on a site like this. For example, when I searched "glycerin," I only got a couple of results, and there are way more moisturizers listed on the site that contain glycerin.

See what you think.